Leadership row has escalated at the Africa Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) after another new Archbishop Fredrick Wang’ombe was unanimously elected less than three weeks after disputed elections of Julius Njoroge for the same post.
Wang’ombe’s enthronement is set for tomorrow, Sunday at AIPCA headquarters in Bahati, Nairobi where all the Bishops and faithful’s will converge.
Early preparations for the event were kicked off in earnest yesterday afternoon within the church compound.
Njoroge was elected as the Archbishop on January 9, 2017 but the church objected. His enthronement had been scheduled for February 12, 2017.
Wang’ombe was elected on Friday at Mukaro Diocese in Nyeri by all AIPCA Dioceses in the following a series of flopped negotiations by Church leaders against Njoroge’s election.
Outgoing Archbishop Amos Mathenge Kabuthu was in attendance.
However, the office of the Registrar of Societies registered previously disputed officials despite protest by church top organ.
One of the officials listed as the church national chairman Paul Watoro Gichu was ex-communicated in 2014 while the new Vice Treasurer bertha Nyambura Mwangi resigned from office in 2013.
“I refer to your letter dated January 19th, 2017, and append below the names of your society’s office bearers Archbishop Julius Njoroge Gitau, chairman Paul Watoro Gichu, vice chairman Josphat Gikunda M’Nkanata, Secretary Stanley Mburu Mwangi, assistant Secretary Bernard Maina Mwangi, vice treasurer Bertha Nyambura Mwangi, admin secretary Stanley Muthoni and member Nicholeta Waithira,” the correspondence signed by Assistant Registrar of Societies Jacob M. Ikiara reads in part.
The letter, reference number SOC/5256 is dated January 30, 2017.
Njoroge was elected as the new Archbishop in an acrimonious event to succeed outgoing Archbishop Kabuthu who attained the retirement age of 70 years.
Njoroge is currently 67 years.
“The electoral register which was used was backdated to 2012 meaning changes that have happened since then were never captured. For example, the National Treasurer the late Timothy Gitonga Gachoya replacement was not captured to reflect the current holder Mrs Ann Wanjiru Kahura. Bishop Bairu who was the in charge Imenti North diocese was not replaced and chairlady of Embu also passed on and the register used did not reflect the current chairlady,” the petition dated January 10, 2017 reads in part.
During controversial election of Njoroge as the Archbishop, names of dead officials and those who have already resigned were also captured in the election list without updated replacement of their successors.
Further, thirty six bishops, chairmen and chairladies boycotted the controversial election including the outgoing Archbishop Amos Kabuthu.
Gichu was ex-communicated from the church in 2014 for having participated in illegal and irregular ordinations in Nairobi and Mukaro Diocese against the church rules and doctrines.
“The central board has found you guilty of colluding with Bishop Julius Kamwaro as he illegally ordained clergy in Nairobi and Nyeri and thus it ex-communicated you,” an ex-communication notice against Gichu reference number Ref: CB/AIPCA/05/2014.
Gichu attends Bahati AIPCA church under police escort.
The ex-communication notice was signed by the secretary general Stanley Mwangi and national chairman Samuel Kimani.
Bertha Nyambura served as the national Chairlady in 2013 and tendered her resignation in May 2014 and ex-communicated member Paul Watoro Gichu participated in the disputed elections.
However, current office bearers were not incorporated in the process.
Nyambura is the wife to former Archbishop the late Samson Mwangi Gaitho.